I have had the great privilege of attending online and in person retreats with Mark as well as having him come to Vancouver and offer his Burnout and the Road Back to Resilience workshop at our multidisciplinary maternity practice. The retreats have been both personally and professionally life changing. There are tools I use daily that have helped me live and care for others with more kindness. Thank you, Mark, for your gift facilitating workshops/retreats for healthcare providers.
Mark’s workshop in Tofino was a wonderful opportunity to dip our toes into mindfulness practice and how to practically integrate it into daily life. Retreat is harder to describe, but the experiences from retreat have genuinely been transformative in my practice and day to day life. Mark has created a beautiful space to allow people to come together, reconnect with themselves and with like-minded colleagues. I highly recommend it to all my colleagues!
I took part in the Hollyhock “mindfulness in medicine” in may ’22 and it was just what I needed at that time. I think I was in a funk for a while and the retreat helped me to step out of it. I met a lot of wonderful clinicians during the retreat, and was touched by the deep sharing that occurred in that circle at Olatunji hall. The poetry that Mark often read during his guided meditations augmented the experience for me deeply. I have been able to return to writing poetry again after a hiatus for over a decade. Sitting is not necessarily my thing but I wanted to get better at it and it was good practice. I enjoyed the walking meditations in the incredible rainforest. The food, of course, was fantastic. I tented it and it was lovely. I plan to go again in ’23.
Mark Sherman has been instrumental in bringing meditation into main stream medicine. His teachings catalyze the growth of positive life habits that dramatically improve the lives of physicians and the patients they care for. He is extremely patient and kind in his teaching. He creates time and space for all those learning from him. I believe that meditation is essential to a better life and we are so lucky to have Mark Sherman in our midst meeting us wherever we are.
I highly recommend Mindfulness for Health Care Providers Foundations of Theory and Practice. This course is a great way for beginners to learn about implementing mindfulness into both your daily work and life. I appreciated the diverse mix of health care providers in attendance and discussing real life applications. The nice mix of guidance, discussion, meditation and free time created a very enjoyable balanced experience. It was very appropriate for beginners to start with to have this excellent guidance for supporting yourself and others.
I was burning out from politics, COVID and underfunded primary care when I unexpectedly got locum coverage and thus a chance to attend one of Mark’s meditation retreats at Hollyhock. Stepping into retreat with colleagues was a profound and transformational process. I wrestled with joy, grief, forgiveness, redemption and by the end of the retreat, I had found a tiny stillness within myself. Mindfulness practice has strengthened my joy in medicine and in life, and empowered me to work for system change.
Sitting and studying with Mark over the past 4 years has opened my heart, quieted my inner critic and allowed me to consider the ‘what if?’ for my life. He is a gifted and compassionate teacher — a refuge for us wounded healers alike… so much gratitude for Mark.
Over the past 6 years I have attended a number of Mark’s retreats and workshops in Tofino as well as other locations – Hollyhock on Cortes Island, Bethlehem Retreat Centre and also via Zoom during COVID travel bans. Over the time I have gotten to know Mark, my esteem and gratitude for the work he is doing has grown immensely. He has changed my life and, through me, has touched many others – my children, my husband, my med students, my patients, my staff, and my friends. I have been able to take his teachings and propagate them further. With Mark’s gentle guidance, I have come to know myself better and as a result battle burnout, build compassion and become a better doctor, wife, sister, mom, educator, and leader.